Alex Foster has been a starter with the Chicago DeLaSalle Institute varsity since his first game. It was a nervous time for the freshman, but even then the skill level and athleticism were obvious.
Now more than halfway through his first season, he is much more relaxed and confident.
"Back in November, it was like our first games. I had to get the nervous jitters out. But now it's like regular basketball. Just have fun."
Of course, he still had to get used to Tom White's coaching.
"Yeah, things are better now. I'm still getting adjusted to the coach's style of play, but it's getting there."
White is blessed to have both Foster and junior manchild Mike Shaw in his lineup. But three senior guards graduated, and the replacements's inexperience put a great burdon on the big men. Especially when they played too close together.
"Yeah, that has improved a lot. They're getting the big men open a lot, so we have more chances to do stuff. When it's packed in, you can't really move. So the way the players are spacing out around the court is better."
Foster agreed the attention paid to Shaw has given him more chances as well.
"He's doing real good. He's like evolving into a whole nother position. He's a two-guard now. It makes it real good for me."
Still, he wants to improve his shooting and ball handling. And he'd like to do more scoring.
"My scoring average is okay right now, but it could be better."
After some early losses, DeLaSalle has made tremendous progress. Foster hopes to see the team advance far in the state tournament.
"Right now we're undefeated in the Catholic League. If we keep playing like we've been playing, we should do real good."
The 6'-8" lefty with an excellent vertical leap has visited the Illinois campus several times, but this was his first regular season game.
"I went two years ago to Midnight Madness. It was like 12 o'clock at night. There was a dunk contest and all this stuff, it was almost like a circus. But I haven't been to a real game before. It's way louder."
Numerous schools are showing early interest in the 2013 prospect.
"Right now, the schools that are really recruiting me hard are Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, a lot of Big 10 schools. Ohio State is talking to me a little bit, but I don't know whether they're into it."
Foster is enjoying the process and is in no hurry to make a college commitment.
"I'll probably wait until about junior year."